For almost 100 years, New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) has helped women at all career levels, from students to retirees, thrive in the communications field. Recently, two Klein College of Media and Communication students came across the organization and its opportunities for rising professionals like them.
Brianna Boone is a senior journalism major and a student working at Klein College of Media and Communication Career Services (Career Services). She first heard about the organization in 2021 from Director of Career Services Lu Ann Cahn, who had won a scholarship from the organization when she was a student.
Boone, wanting to network and eventually work in New York, applied to NYWICI’s scholarship program. Boone was awarded a scholarship from Kaplow, one of NYWICI’s sponsors, at the 2022 Matrix Awards. The scholarship turned into a fellowship, then an internship, and soon a full-time job with the agency.
“[Kaplow] really wanted to take people who have been historically disadvantaged in this industry and give them an opportunity in a space to learn and grow,” Boone said.
This year, Boone was awarded another scholarship from NYWICI and was joined by senior advertising major Joyce Chen. Both students accepted their awards at the 2023 Matrix Awards in New York on September 20, 2023.
“I like NYWICI’s mission statement in trying to help women in the communications field,” Chen said.
Chen was awarded a scholarship from Interpublic Group (IPG), the holding company for Weber Shandwick. In addition to the scholarship, Chen has also connected with Weber Shandwick and is part of a mentoring circle within the company. Each month, Chen sits down with a different employee at the company to gain career advice.
After finding out she was awarded the scholarship in the spring, Chen spent her summer attending in-person and online networking events offered by NYWICI. At these events, she learned more about the field and how to become a successful leader.
“From the start, meeting her, you knew how passionate she was about communications,” said NYWICI Board Member and Co-Chair of Scholarships and Grants Maria Ungaro.
Just after getting back from the Matrix Awards, Chen started an internship at SEOM Interact doing email marketing and social media. Though the internship was supposed to end in December, Chen has extended it and is now continuing her work there.
This year, Boone received the inaugural NYWICI Past Presidents Scholarship.
“We were so happy to see that she returned after winning a scholarship the first year,” said NYWICI Board Member and Co-Chair of Scholarships and Grants Chelsea Orcutt. “She has continued to show up for the organization and be a really vocal advocate and ambassador.”
It is this dedication that made Orcutt and Ungaro identify her as a great candidate for the newest NYWICI award. The candidate had to be someone the board could see being president of the organization one day, said NYWICI Executive Director Donna-Jean Plante.
With NYWICI, Boone helped develop a new fellowship initiative to diversify the media industry called A Road Map for Change. The initiative was launched at this year’s Matrix Awards.
“NYWICI is the reason why I am here where I stand today in the position that I am right now,” Boone said. “They fully catapulted me into my brand-new world.”
NYWICI Scholarships for the 2024 awards year are open now. For more information, click here.